Russian MU-8

Dear Technoid,

I recently bought a Vostock MU8 which I plan to use for both ISU Skeet and Trap ( it came with both sets of barrels and both stocks ).

I was wondering if you knew of any source of spares for these guns.Do you perhaps know these guns , what can you tell me about them and what do you think of my choice ( apart from the fact that the factory closed down and spares seems to be unavailable ).

Thank you very much

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dear Etienne,

I shot a lot of MU-8s in the late ’70s. Phil Provence, an International Skeet shooter with the US Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Georgia used to just love his and claimed that there were none better. They were built solid as a tank.

There were some trigger problems with the little ball weight which acted as the inertia block. It kept coming off. There were also some problems with the stock inletting hanging up the trigger. I never stayed with the gun because I wanted one with a longer feel than those 26″ barrels provided and ultimately went to the 1100. Still, they weren’t bad guns at all and one of my acquaintances still shoots one.

We were shooting the 32 gram load back then. I wonder how the Tula choke on the skeet barrels will handle the newer 24 gram loads. Many of the ISU IntSk shooters over here are using a good bit of choke at IntSk, especially with the increased doubles and tiny loads. Make sure that you pattern that skeet barrel.

Parts were always a problem. The Minnesota importer from the ’70s is long gone in the US. Here the gun was marked under the name of the Russian export arm “Baikal”, not “Vostock”, but I am sure we are talking about the same gun. The US restricted importation of Russian firearms until the USSR collapsed. From 1993 to 1996 there was a company called Big Bear in Carrollton, Texas that imported Russian shotguns, but I don’t see the MU-6 or 8 on their list. I don’t have a phone number and do not know if they are still in business.

Many of the MU-8s sold in the US were two barrel sets like yours, but they only came with one trap stock, not two stocks.

Did you make a good choice? Why does every one ask me that AFTER they buy the gun? Aarrgghh! What am I supposed to say? No one every wants to be told that he married the wrong woman or bought the wrong dog. Same with guns. Ask me BEFORE you buy something. Personally, I liked the Baikal/Vostocks well enough and felt that they were tremendous quality for the price asked in the ’70s. The skeet/trap combo offered here had 26″ and 28″ barrels and that is too short and whippy for me, though it certainly didn’t stop the Russians from setting some world records with them.

Frankly, I would be very reluctant to buy a clay target gun without a current supply of parts being available. I am not sure as to what parts supply of any particular brand is like in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so the point may be moot. I imagine that they must have some access to Belgian Brownings though.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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